Texas lawmakers sent a bill to pro-life Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk Friday to help make sure abortion clinics do not hide botched abortions from the public.
Texas House Bill 13 will require abortion facilities and medical clinics to report any abortion-related complications within three days to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The commission will compile an annual report each year with data about the complications.
The Texas Senate passed the bill on Friday, after the state House approved the bill less than a month ago, according to the American-Statesman. It is one of a number of pro-life bills that Texas lawmakers passed this month during a special session called by Abbott.
House Bill 13 requires facilities, including abortion centers, hospitals, emergency rooms and other medical facilities, to report complications such as maternal death, uterine perforation, infection or a baby born alive after the abortion. They also must report the type of abortion, gestational age of the unborn baby and general demographic information about the woman.
Bill sponsor state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, said the purpose of the bill is information.
He told the American-Statesman that the bill will make “available data for research and…quite frankly, for women who want to know what the actual real complication rate is for these procedures. Everybody wants to make educated decisions.”
Opponents of the bill claimed it is not needed because abortions are safer than many other routine medical procedures. But one of the reasons they can claim that is because there is so little data on abortion complications.
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The Centers for Disease Control, for example, publishes an annual report of abortion data, but states are not required to participate. Some states give the CDC limited data on abortions, while others provide nothing at all.
As Texas Right to Life explains on its blog:
According to the Guttmacher Institute, an anti-Life research organization formerly affiliated with Planned Parenthood, 27 states require reporting to state agencies when complications arise during abortions. Only 13 states require reporting on whether pregnant minors received adequate parental or judicial authorization to undergo an abortion. An abortion is an invasive and violent surgical procedure that always results in the death of a preborn child, but can also result in life-threatening complications for the mother because abortion mills are notorious for violating basic health and safety standards. For these reasons, Texas has a vested interest in keeping accurate records of complications that arise from elective abortions in our state.
Many studies indicate that abortion is not as safe as abortion activists claim. Studies link abortion to increased risks of breast cancer, mental health problems and future premature births. More than 400 women have died along with their unborn babies in abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Many believe the number is much higher, but the data is insufficient.
More data would help provide a clearer picture about abortion for women and the general public.
Texas lawmakers also passed a number of other pro-life bills this week, including a measure to prohibit health insurance plans from covering elective abortions. Another piece of legislation on the governor’s agenda is a bill to prevent taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers through city and county contracts.